Consumers reconsider high meat prices in October

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Grocery shoppers are starting to second-guess the prices they see in the meat aisle as a monthly survey shows consumers are not as willing to pay high prices for most meat options.

The Food Demand Survey conducted by Oklahoma State University shows the average consumer’s willingness to pay for steak, chicken breast, hamburger and deli ham declined this month, falling between 3% and 8% lower.

Consumer price preferences for steak fell 5.73 %, or 41 cents, to $6.74 per pound. Hamburger saw similar declines, down 5.77%, or 24 cents, to $3.92 per pound. Chicken breast was also lower, down 3.73% to $4.91 per pound.

The only meat options to increase were pork chops and chicken wings up 3.26% and 0.47% respectively.

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Possibly affected by economic concerns brought on by the government shutdown, consumers were spending more to eat at home and less on meals away from home. Weekly grocery bills increased by $3.19 to $96.52, the budget to eat meals outside of the home fell 79 cents to $44.84. Both figures are anticipated to fall lower in the next two weeks.

The survey also measures consumer views of food trends and hot topics in the agricultural industry. Consumer awareness of GMO and E. coli marginally increased in October, but awareness of antibiotics and Zilmax declined. In a specific question regarding the growth hormone, the number of survey respondents who “have never heard of Zilmax” fell 1.5% to 84.9%.

The Food Demand Survey is a monthly report completed by  Jayson Lusk and Susan Murray at the Oklahoma State University Department of Agricultural Economics.

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October, 19, 2013 at 09:49 AM

You are blaming this on the government shutdown? Seriously? Consumers are fed up with government and we are also fed up with outrageous beef prices. Pork turns out to be a pretty good product in its own right. The silver lining to beef prices skyrocketing is that we are rediscovering just how good pork and chicken really are. Keep your ridiculously priced beef. Sell it to Asia or somewhere you can fleece a new set of customers. We are now finished with you here in America just like we will vote the bums out in Washington when the time comes.

Wyo  |  October, 19, 2013 at 07:57 PM

Great comment.........and you are sooooooo right dead pig (pork) is good..........second best meat. You are right again about political about food to feed families? Beef is MUCH better.........nutritionally than dead pig or fowl. Keep that in you decide what to buy and feed your family.

Craig A. Moore    
Bilings, MT  |  October, 21, 2013 at 09:50 AM

I have heard enough junk about the devastating effects of the shutdown, which affected me not at all, and wish reporters and editors would get off it. And if they are so upset about the price of meat, which apparently caused the declines, why did beans, rice and pasta have higher declines?

walter lacy    
alaska  |  January, 23, 2014 at 06:26 AM

keep calm folks! beef prices will decline just as gold has. the beef people will realize there is no market here anymore at these prices.

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